No active politics for now, I’m headed to Kerala, says Sheila

Former CM indicates she was not on board when Congress decided to support AAP government.

New Delhi | Updated: March 10, 2014 9:18:16 am
Sheila Dikshit said she would do her best, so that the people of Kerala feel happy. (IE photo: Renuka Puri) Sheila Dikshit said she would do her best, so that the people of Kerala feel happy. (IE photo: Renuka Puri)

Amid talks about Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s desire to look beyond the Sheila Dikshit era in Delhi and entrust the party’s future with a new set of leaders, Kerala Governor-designate Sheila Dikshit on Sunday said she has “no plans at the moment” to return to active politics and indicated that it was the Congress High Command’s decision to send her out of Delhi.

In what could be her last interview as an active politician, the former Delhi Chief Minister also indicated that she was not on board when the Congress decided to support the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government — a decision that boomeranged on the grand old party. “It was the decision of the party of which I was a member. It was a collective decision. I was not in the picture,” Dikshit said on the eve of her departure to Kerala to take charge as Governor.

Asked if she will ever return to active politics, Dikshit, who will turn 76 later this month, said, “I have no plans at the moment. Not at all. A Governor has certain jobs to perform and I will do that to the best of my ability, so that people of Kerala feel satisfied.”

To a query on whether she was suggesting retirement from active politics, she said, “It is very, very difficult to say. At the moment, my responsibility is as a Governor.”

On speculation that her new appointment is meant to provide her immunity in the backdrop of attempts by opposition parties to drag her name into the alleged Commonwealth Games scam, she said, “Now that you have asked me, let me clarify that no FIR is there against me over CWG, and the reports of the CVC and the Shunglu Committee have already been answered to. How can I answer to something when there is nothing at all?”

Asked if she herself was interested in a gubernatorial assignment or the party High Command desired so, Dikshit said, “I was in no position to express any wish to the High Command. I was certainly asked about it before the decision was made.”
Asked how the Congress was going to take on the AAP in Delhi, the former Delhi CM said, “I am going to Kerala. I am not going to be here. I am sure the party will bring about the strategies.”

Sheila to take oath on March 11

Sheila Dikshit will take over as the Governor of Kerala on Tuesday. She will be administered the oath of office by the Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court. Dikshit will be accompanied by family members, several former ministers, and sitting and former MLAs. Raj Kumar Chauhan, Ramakant Goswami and Mangat Ram Singhal, among others, will accompany her. ENS

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